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The sharpening struggle is real

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by Derrinx, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. Derrinx

    Derrinx ArboristSite Lurker

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    I envy the guys who can get a chain cutting like new after a few mins with file. I spent about an hour trying to grind my chain. I used a dremel with a 7/16 stone and angle guide. I got the cutters pretty sharp, but messed up on the rakers. Thought I took them down enough but on my firewood cutting morning my 562xp was spitting dust. I hadn't bought any extra chains for it yet, so I put the husky away and took out the old POOLAN wild thing which had a sharp chain on it... did the job with it. I have since bought some stuff (vise, 7/16ths files, 3 extra chains) and I'm going to try and follow this video b/c this is the best sharpening video I've seen



    Maybe one day I'll figure this sharpening thing out....:rolleyes:
     
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  2. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I struggled for a long time. Finally bought a bench grinder because i needed sharp chains and couldn't do it even with several gadgets...but I never gave up. Then one day it just worked by hand. Now I'm now saying I can sharpen a saw to get ready for competition, but I'd consider myself proficient. Point is: keep practicing!
     
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  3. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    New chains don't cut as well as a well sharpened chain. I always love a chain on its 1st and second sharpen it is its best imo then. I mean it cuts the best it will in its lifetime I however pretty much use one until its gone but when the tooth has been sharped back 8 or so times the rakers or drags as we here down south call em need lowered much lower to keep cutting well. I sharpen pretty much the way this guy does no gadgets except raker guide the only difference is I don't even make degree marks but then after 30 plus years its built into my brain . I really like that he explained for the new guys the depth of file and hook and pressure back into the tooth more than down with 20 pecent of file above tooth as your depth. It will help many of you struggling! I have a feeling you are going to have sharp chains from now on :cheers:
     
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  4. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    Another note: I like he showed using gloves. I resist gloves but my right pointer knuckle is scar tissue and now after my hard headed youth I wear gloves for some things and filing a chain is one of them. I have a good bench grinder so now don't file a lot but in the field I still do.
     
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  5. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I was one of those guys who bought a new chain at home depot every time it went dull. The I got a stihl saw with a stihl chain, which is not a throw away chain, and decided I could buy a file kit. I'm not great at using the file but I can keep the chain sharp enough to make chips. The angle guide throws me off so I do it free hand. I think it's all a learning thing when it comes to chainsaws and wood cutting.
     
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  6. BC WetCoast

    BC WetCoast Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A couple of things I do:
    - cut with my left hand (weak hand) first. My back seizes up leaning over, so using my weak hand first while my back is still relatively pain free.
    - make sure each tooth is the same size (visually) as the ones in front and behind
    - the important part of the tooth that does the primary cutting is the 1mm along the top and down the side from the corner.

    I tend to use a larger file, get less hook, but better shape to the tooth. My chains may not cut as fast, but they cut straight which for me is more important. Most of our saws, especially the larger ones, tend to be pool saws, that is not assigned to a specific crew. We have crews that are notorious for rocking them and then leaving them and let other crews have to deal with the rocked chain. Some saws it'll take 4-5 filings to straighten the cut out.
     
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  7. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    One more thing I thought of that helped me...sharpen before it is really dull. I was so bad at sharpening, I wanted to get all I could out of a sharpening...so I waited. Which made it harder to sharpen well, which confirmed I sucked at sharpening. Sharpen every tank or two and you only need to make a few strokes. Part of what that means, is mistakes can't cause too many problems...
     
  8. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I sharpen every time I clean the saw. The amount of strokes is judged by the amount of cutting and condition of the chain. Getting it real dull takes a lot of work. At that point I put the file in the drill and try to bring it back to something useable.
     
  9. CR888

    CR888 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I love the good ol put the file in the drill trick. Initially one can perceive this idea as a good one, the questions is though, after how many good files enter the trash can does one stop and question whether it is such a good idea after all. I see some folks think files cut in two directions...back & forward, then there is those who use them in rotary tools & there my favourite type. :oops:
     
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  10. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    It seemed to work on the chain I did it on. It was an old Oregon chain from home depot so it was probably soft steel. They sell those rotary file bits too. I only did low speed so it would cut and not burn a new edge on. Whatever my chains never get that bad.
     
  11. capetrees

    capetrees Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Bench grinder, end of problem. Controlled angles, consistent sharpening.
     
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  12. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    As long as it bench grinder is used to sharpen and not "grind"...but yes I agree that is the best way to get predictable results. CBN wheel helps with that but that costs as much as many grinders.
     
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  13. M.R.

    M.R. ArboristSite Operative

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    AF644E19-B8DC-4B91-A82D-355B69C4C469.png To grind or grinding a chain ....
    I tend to describe it more of a light
    brief
    brushing or ‘Honing’ action...
    These swing arm magnifying lights
    Will help tremendous, you will be better able
    see the bluing of the the cutter & learn
    how much pressure / duration against
    And be able to chase (the blueing) back also.
    .
    Paying attention after hand filing to the difference
    In the angle changes the bench grinder makes ought???
    To make one better at hand filing....
    Like a lot of things in life
    One has the knack
    Can develop it
    Or never will
     
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  14. Marley5

    Marley5 ArboristSite Operative

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    I carry extra chains in the field as I'm much more efficient at home, in a vice, bright light and 300 reading glasses.

    It took me quite a while to properly hand sharpen a chain and to know what shape the tooth should take.
    I noticed from the above video that i do different.....i actually stroke the file with 5 degree up-stroke.

    I started sharpening chains for family then family and friends then they're friends until it got way out of hand, i was always in the shop sharpening chains and actually started getting pissed, especially when all the chains that were showing up were in rocks. Grrrr

    So i decided to just sharpen 1 side only on all the chains then all the complaints came. " MY SAW TRIES TO DO A U-TURN IN THE BIG STUFF. lol
    True story.
     
  15. Woodaddict

    Woodaddict ArboristSite Lurker

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    Everybody needs to check out Buckin Billy Ray on you tube, he makes it simple to do.
     
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  16. longbowch

    longbowch ArboristSite Guru

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    Try the Stihl 2 in 1 sharpener.
     
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  17. Jackbnimble

    Jackbnimble Addicted to ArboristSite

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    My chains can cut human flesh as good as any surgeon's scalpel.
     
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  18. turnkey4099

    turnkey4099 Tree Freak

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    Yep. I discovered 'nitrile' gloves last year. Perfect for filing chains. Avoids nicks, thin enough to still have feel, cheap (less than $5 for a 3 pair pack at Wal Mart) and are particularly good for handling firewood, just enough 'roughness' to get a good grip on a split.

    I used to get 'nicked' every time I filed a chain, not any more.
     
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  19. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Is that thing any good? I was watching an add for it the one day.
     
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  20. longbowch

    longbowch ArboristSite Guru

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    Yes I like it. It doesn’t clean out the gullet but otherwise does a good job. Doesn’t work on skip tooth either. I can do a 25” chain in about 5 minutes.
     
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